The council will press ahead and sell a large block of its land at South Goulburn despite hitting a hurdle with a State Government department.
General manager Warwick Bennett said the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) was giving no ground on what’s been described as “a very small number of trees” on the land which once formed part of the Goulburn South Caravan park camping area.
OEH argues the trees, understood to be Yellowbox, are of high conservation value. It ruled that if the council wanted to sell the land, it would have to purchase 6ha elsewhere as a biodiversity offset, a December report to councillors stated.
However the council maintained the trees’ integrity had been diminished by surrounding commercial development.
Councillors decided last month to sell the 4647 square metre block. Mr Bennett said the parcel would be sold at public auction with this ‘encumbrance.’
He told The Post some developers were interested in working around the trees.
He accused the State Government of a “wee double standard” in doing what it liked with Bourke Street trees for the new ambulance station but insisting on species’ retention at Hume Street.
NSW Health Infrastructure (HI) has proposed six street trees be removed to facilitate construction of the new station opposite Bourke Street Health Service. The council has agreed in principle but asked that HI contribute $20,000 as an offset to its street tree planting program.
Mr Bennett said expressions of interest from real estate agents to sell the Hume Street land would be called in two to three weeks. Taking into account an eight-week marketing campaign, he expected a public auction to be held in late March/early April.
A registered valuer will be engaged to value this and four other Goulburn properties the council is selling. These are: 10 Ben Bullen Place, 8 Lanigan Lane, 23 Hercules Street and 43 Finlay Road, the latter of which is subject to a road closure application.
The valuations will determine the reserve price.
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